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welsh wool


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welsh wool


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using welsh wool

The tradition of weaving in Wales goes right back to the middle ages, our hills and lowland pastures make for great sheep country and fast running streams provided the power needed in the pre-industrial age

In the early 20th century most small rural mills worked with their local farming communities, processing the raw fleeces, carding and spinning yarn for weaving and knitting and also weaving fabric for everyday clothing (tweed/flannel) or weaving blankets, ruga and the signature Carthenni double weaves for household use.

Sadly the link to local farms was broken in the 1950s when the British Wool Marketing Board began to buy all the wool centrally, so it was no longer possible to buy specifically local or Welsh yarn. As wool was now sorted on quality most Welsh yarn found itself blended into woollen carpet yarns.

Today in a global market wool is sourced worldwide and much of the softer lambswool comes from Australia or New Zealand.

We're delighted that after several years of hard work, the Cambrian wool initiative has begun to reverse this trend.

As partners in this project we're involved in the first steps of a new venture that will see commercial production of fabrics that are designed and woven in Wales out of Welsh yarn.......so watch this space!!!!

 

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Cambrian Mountains Wool Project


Melin Tregwynt are excited to be involved in the development of this new Welsh wool into a weaving quality. It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to return to the roots of Welsh weaving; combining locally sourced yarn with beautiful design in order to create a premium Welsh product for our customers.

Cambrian Mountains Wool Project


Melin Tregwynt are excited to be involved in the development of this new Welsh wool into a weaving quality. It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to return to the roots of Welsh weaving; combining locally sourced yarn with beautiful design in order to create a premium Welsh product for our customers.

cambrian mountains wool

Cambrian Mountains Wool CIC is a Community Interest Company established in 2016, in order to facilitate the purchase and processing of wool produced on the farms in the Cambrian Mountains region of Wales, for commercial use. 

We always had a conviction that fine wool could be had from Welsh flocks
— www.cambrianwool.co.uk

In 2008 HRH The Prince of Wales set in place the Cambrian Mountains Initiative, one of four rural Initiatives aimed at supporting and developing the upland farming communities in the UK.  Support from this Initiative – along with the skills of local farmers, the British Wool Marketing Board and Curtis Wools Direct – enabled Cambrian Mountains Wool CIC to develop their idea into product.

Our premium wool is the finest grade of Welsh Mule, the name given to the local Welsh breed when crossed with the Blue Faced Leicester. It’s the Blue Faced Leicester that imports the lustre and fineness
— www.cambrianwool.co.uk

“Our premium wool is the finest grade of Welsh Mule, the name given to the local Welsh breed when crossed with the Blue Faced Leicester. It’s the Blue Faced Leicester that imports the lustre and fineness” www.cambrianwool.co.uk 

Alongside the development of the yarn itself, other aims of the company include the promotion of designers and makers using locally sourced wool, and engaging with local communities to encourage traditional textile skills and to raise awareness of the region’s wool production.

Melin Tregwynt are excited to be involved in the development of this new Welsh wool into a weaving quality. It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to return to the roots of Welsh weaving; combining locally sourced yarn with beautiful design in order to create a premium Welsh product for our customers.

 

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What is Doublecloth?


What is Doublecloth?


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WELSH TAPESTRY

‘Tapestry’ is the name used to describe Welsh double-cloth patterns; two layers of fabric are woven one above the other, interchanging at points forming ‘pockets’, and enabling bold areas of pattern to be created. Historically, a strong 2-ply yarn was used to weave these fabrics and this, combined with the doublecloth structure, produced a practical and hard-wearing fabric, suitable for use as bedcovers.
Records show that these quilts were woven on elaborate handlooms in North Wales from around the eighteenth century, and subsequently woven on power looms in that area of Wales. It was around the 1920s that mills in West and South Wales also began weaving similar patterns, and the Tapestry quilt is now seen as an iconic Welsh product in all parts of the country.
Although ‘Tapestry’ cloth is seen as being typically Welsh, similar patterns using the doublecloth structure have been found in woven fabrics from all over the world. Because the patterns of the fabrics are created by the weave structure, the patterns tend to have a resemblance between one another, which makes distinguishing the origins of the style almost impossible.
Each Welsh mill developed their own doublecloth or Tapestry patterns which would have made them identifiable by manufacturer. Originally woven as bedcovers in bold and large-scale designs, the same doublecloth structure was later also used to develop smaller-scale patterns suitable for garments and accessories.
Today you can still find these unique patterns in the remaining mills across Wales – many dating back decades – and the popularity of these iconic Welsh designs remains.

 

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care of your woollens


care of your woollens


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Wool is a natural fibre, and as such is apt to stretch and move with use. We have tested our range of blankets and throws using different care methods. We hope that by taking good care of your woollens, you can enjoy our products for years to come. Our weaves can be split into two main types:

TRADITIONAL BLANKETS: (Broadstripe and Yspryd in pure new wool and Multistripe in lambswool) 

CONTEMPORARY GRAPHIC DOUBLECLOTHS: (Mondo, Madison, Knot Garden, Luna, Carew & Patagonia designs in lambswool doublecloth and St David’s Cross and Vintage Star designs in pure new wool)

  • To clean both traditional wool blankets and doublecloth, we recommend dry cleaning. This method best maintains blanket size, handle and appearance.
  • Both types of fabrics can also be washed; but this should be a cool, quick hand wash, and short spin, followed by a cool tumble or line flat dry. The fabric should be immersed in cool water and agitated for no longer than a couple of minutes. Leaving the blanket in even cool water for any length of time will felt and shrink the fabric.
  • For contract use you can also wash them on a max 30deg machine wool wash, with short spin, cool tumble dry or line flat dry. Never use a “hand-wash” setting on a machine as the temperature can vary tremendously and lead to shrinkage. 
  • With frequent and regular washing, the traditional wool blankets can experience up to 6% shrinkage, even with the mildest care methods. The graphic doublecloths can experience up to 8.5% shrinkage and a slight felting in appearance, this makes the fabric become stiffer and more dense, changing the soft hand and smooth appearance of the blanket.

SPECIAL CUSTOMISED DESIGNS
•    Wash / dry clean treatments will depend on the yarns & structures used in the cloth so we would recommend that this is discussed at the initial design stage.